I started this Blogging Advice page when my original Blogger blog was very new. I had jumped right into the blogging world without doing any research. I definitely learned quickly but at times it was painful. Included on this page are bits and pieces of the most helpful information I received or found. I kept it all in chronological order. The oldest information is first. As I have added things I have put them at the bottom.
The Computery is a blog filled with information. This is the link to the Blogger Tutorial page. It’s incredible. Pretty much anything you need to know is here. It’s ranked from really easy to maybe you should get some help. I haven’t looked at everything yet but it’s definitely worth a visit.
Here is a page from Grace @ Sense and Simplicity. Her patience and advice were invaluable during the beginning days of my blog.
Here is a tutorial from Not Just a Housewife on how to join a linky party. I was totally clueless the first time I was asked. I actually had to google it. Then I didn’t do it right because there were certain guidelines to follow. This should answer most of your questions. If it doesn’t please email me and I’ll try to help.
Blog Design: it’s up to you…
When I first started my blog it went through many transformations. I literally spent hours finding backgrounds, new fonts, tags, etc. I made headers (Picasa) and more headers (Picnik.) I felt like it was never going to be finished. Being sort of a perfectionist, no matter what improvements I made it just didn’t look right. So in the end, to give myself some peace of mind, I picked out a blog designer. I went with a designer who’s work I had seen and liked. I picked out a pre-designed layout, not a custom one. I had already laid out my blog…so basically I was just buying the graphics. Which was a huge relief. So if you decide to go with a blog designer these are the things to remember:
1. Custom is obviously more expensive than pre-designed. I went the pre-designed route for that reason but also because I wanted to know what I was getting. With a custom design, you throw out ideas and the designer tries to read your mind. They all limit your revisions (which I don’t blame them…I imagine some bloggers could get a little out of hand.) I knew what I was buying. There were no surprises. I ended up with the perfect blog for me.
2. It was important to me that all my graphics matched. I know that is a bad word to some people. I spent hours looking for everything I needed. I could find a background that matched the tags but there was no grab button. I could find the background and tags but the tags didn’t say what I wanted. You get the point. By buying my graphics everything goes together. If this is not a priority to you, you should be able to find everything you need…for free.
3. I have seen lovely blogs, with hundreds of followers and lots of advertising, that are the basic blogger design. These people are obviously blogging more for the content than the presentation. I think that’s great. Everybody has different priorities. Do what feels right. Don’t apologize for your decision. Good luck.
Addendum dated 6/17/2012. ~After I had my first, ready-made design for about a year, my blog designer made me a new, custom template. I loved it. She kept my font and colors but it was updated and fresh. My current WordPress blog is also a custom design but it’s based on my two former templates. Same font, which I still totally love, same colors and some of the same graphics. I still think a ready-made design is the way to go for a newbie. You can get the custom look without the price. Don’t be afraid to make changes. I changed my tag line when I migrated to WordPress. I had taken my blog in a slightly different direction than originally planned. My new tag line reflects that. Try new things and most of all…have fun!
I thought this article was really interesting and it answered a few questions I had.
When my blog was really new I actually paid $8.00 for a tutorial on how to grow your blog. I can’t believe I really did that…but regretfully I did. Here is a link to an article that has the same information. FOR FREE.
Click here for an article on how to host effective give aways. It tells you how to use a Google doc and I must say it’s pretty slick. I used it for my first giveaway. At some point I numbered my comments so the Google doc wasn’t really needed.
Here is a post I wrote when I had reached 100 followers. I actually had to reign myself in and not make it too long. I tried not to lecture.
This is a great article on the dos and don’ts of commenting. Food for thought for sure.
Blogger Tricks and Tips - this is a link to one of my category pages. The last post on Facebook is very outdated but I left it on anyway. There are still a few things in it that are relative to what Facebook is today.